Potential Benefit From Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Therapy in Patients With and Without Heart Failure

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Whether patients with heart failure derive a benefit from therapy with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) has been questioned. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class had an impact on the potential benefit from ICD therapy as assessed from data stored in the memory of ICDs.


Analysis of stored ECG data suggests that in patients with a history of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, ICD therapy may lead to a prolongation of life in NYHA classes I through III. The initial benefit is greatest in patients in NYHA class II and class III, but the estimated benefit might persist longest for patients in NYHA class I. (Circulation. 1998;98:1636-1643.)

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